Welcome to the summer programme for All Hallows Youth Group, WAAG (which, for those of you new to the group stands for We Are A Group). We will be meeting as usual at 19:00 at the All Hallows Church Rooms this Sunday 8 May and will have a discussion on Welcoming the Stranger and we will also be playing some games. There will be refreshments as usual. I have attached a programme for the rest of this term. We will be doing something for the Jubilee weekend and will finish the term with our traditional summer BBQ. A couple of other things to draw to your attention:
We are planning a trip to Oxford on 19 June where we are hoping to explore some of the history and faith of C S Lewis and visit a Church and College in the city. We will leave after Church in the morning and come back probably after tea in the evening. I would welcome parent helpers, ideally with spaces in cars, to join us on this trip so please do let me know if you can help.
PGL in Autumn
When we talked to WAAG members in December about what they would like to do in the coming year, there was lots of enthusiasm for a PGL trip which they last did in February 2019. We are still looking at arranging a visit to PGL during the Autumn half term in October 2022. Carolyn Jay has kindly offered to help with the administration for the trip. If you are interested or able to help volunteer either for the trip itself or as part of the planning for the trip, please do let me know. I am still hoping the Whitchurch Youth Project (one of the community organisations All Hallows supports) will be able to take a group of their young people to PGL at the same time which I hope would further enrich the experience for all.
Finally, as ever, we would welcome more young people at WAAG and I am open to any other ideas for activities and always on the lookout for volunteers to help lead WAAG.
With every blessing for this term,
Reflections on the year
All Hallows Youth Group, WAAG, continued to meet fortnightly during term times throughout 2021. Covid restrictions
meant that this had to be online for the Spring term. Once restrictions eased and with appropriate risk assessments, WAAG
met in person over the summer, starting with a pilgrimage around Whitchurch on 23 May 2021. Despite dreadful weather,
there was an excellent turn out, a testament to the importance of WAAG to our young people.
The All Hallows WAAG leadership team stood down at the end of the summer term after, for some of them, over 20 years of
serving the church in this capacity. We are hugely grateful to Gill Bilton, Andrew Monk, Gill Knappett and Kate Edwards for all
they have given to generations of young people at All Hallows. Tim Fisher picked up the mantle of leading WAAG with Jill
Walker for the 2021 Autumn term. Around 6-12 young people attend each fortnight with discussions on social justice, a film
night, an advent discussion on favourite carols and tree decoration for the Christmas Tree Festival. Our traditional ice skating
trip was not possible due to Covid restrictions in place at the time.
With the help of Revd Helen, WAAG has also reached out into the community, putting together a ‘from darkness into light’ trail
and display for the Whitchurch Halloween trail which attracted over 50 young people and a similar number of accompanying
adults. All the young visitors were given a goodie bag with a gospel message included. We will be looking for other
opportunities to contribute to town events as young Christians in Whitchurch.
Plans for 2022 include trips to other cities, a session on favourite music, another pilgrimage and other activities to fit with the
church calendar. Jill Walker will be leaving over the summer. New leaders, and, more importantly, new young people, are
always welcome to join WAAG.
We have WAAG as usual at 7:00pm at All Hallows Church Rooms on Sunday evening (22 May). As we approach the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations, we will be discussing the role of the Monarch in the Church. Does it help us as Christians or is it a distraction? A chance to explore the good and bad things about mixing church and state and what do you think we should do in the future. The following WAAG meeting is scheduled for the Jubilee weekend so if you have ideas of what we might do to mark the occasion, do come along and share your ideas.
As ever, please feel free to bring friends along to WAAG and if you know of anyone ready to volunteer to help, do put them in touch with me.
19 May 2022
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In 2020 some of the young people in our church (from WAAG and Young Church Builders) created this ‘graffiti art’ to recycle and brighten up the old notice board that was being replaced and show that although the church building was not open due to the pandemic, the church itself was, and is, alive and well.
The chosen theme was ‘God loves us all’ - an antidote to the racial tensions that flared over the summer. The artwork shows that God’s love is for everyone, whatever their appearance, background or personal traits. God made all of us, everywhere, in His image and He loves us all.
The new noticeboard outside the church was made by Hurstbourne Forge.